Factors in the social support process
Jackson, Melanie Hope
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined the process of social support exchange within dating relationships. Rejection sensitivity and processes related to self-evaluation maintenance were examined as they related to various reactions to advice from a dating partner. It was predicted that individuals who were higher in rejection sensitivity would anticipate and perceive advice more negatively, and would have more negative emotional and behavioral responses to advice than individuals low in rejection sensitivity. Further, it was predicted that individuals who received advice in a high-relevance area would have more negative reactions than individuals receiving advice in a low-relevance area. Finally, relevance was expected to interact with rejection sensitivity. Participants were recruited as couples and were separated throughout the study. They were asked to identify areas of high or low relevance and potential problems in these areas, for which they received advice from their “partner”. Reactions to advice were assessed through self-report measures, the lexical decision task, and a text-analysis program applied to advice participants gave back to partners. Results revealed that low-rejection sensitive individuals manifested more varied reactions depending on the relevance of the area in which they received advice. This was in contrast to high rejection sensitive individuals, who reacted similarly regardless of relevance. Implications of these findings for the relationships of rejection sensitive individuals and directions for future research are discussed.